Applesauce Recipe – Easy Homemade Method

Tom Basics, Desserts, Essential Homemade, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian 0 Comments

Homemade applesauce, although sort of resembles the store-bought stuff, blows it away with the soft texture and wonderful sweetness. Sometimes the simple things are worth making at home.


Applesauce is another homemade item that you probably think: “Shoot, that probably requires some tools I don’t have…” Actually… all you need is a peeler, knife, pot and smasher. Boom applesauce! It’s so stinkin easy that you will likely pull it right into your set of GO TO recipes.


The apples used in this recipe were of the variety “On Sale.” Yes, that is a variety most likely found at your grocery store. They may have been Fuji apples, but I forgot. I have made this easy applesauce recipe out of quite a few varieties of apples thus far and have not found a bad one. Some end up a little more tart than others, but absolutely edible. If it’s slightly tart, just give it a few days in the fridge and voilà it becomes sweeter.

Let’s Cook!

Applesauce Recipe for Best Chunky Applesauce!


Hot wings chicken oven roasted tom schmidt photo

Chicken Hot Wings – Oven Roasted and Cooked to Perfection

Tom Dinner, Easy Impress, Essential Homemade, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly 0 Comments

Do chicken hot wings have their own place in the food pyramid? I think they might have left them off the bottom… Maybe they just ran out paper when they were drawing it.

Glorious chicken hot wings, how I love thee. If there ever was a food that could brighten even a dark Chicago winter day, it would have to be the perfectly roasted chicken wing, with magic dust of course, and finished with some Frank’s hot sauce. Worries disappear as you get covered in hot sauce and the lips start to tingle. BLISS.

chicken hot wings oven roasted tom schmidt photo

I perfected this recipe while living in CHI-Town (Chicago for the rest of y’all) in a classic high-rise condo building. It’s nice enough, but they forgot to put a balcony with a grill on our unit! Consequently, I have been relegated to preparing my favorite chicken wings in the oven. My love for wings and chicken makes this one by far the most tested recipe.

chicken hot wings oven roasted tom schmidt photo

For years I have oven-roasting these famous wings on aluminum foil lined pans, but recently switching over to parchment instead. I have heard from a few people about how aluminum might hurt the brain… I would much rather kill my brain cells with booze rather than aluminum foil!

Be careful, these wings are bound to impress your friends, so buy plenty if sharing. I have seen 100 pound girls demolish upwards of 20 wings, seriously.

These wings are also great un-sauced for those with a little less tolerance for the spicy.

Let’s Cook!

Recipe for Oven Roasted Chicken Hot Wings with Franks Hot Sauce and Magic Dust


Hot Wings
3 pounds high quality chicken wings
1/2 cup Magic Dust seasoning (Check out the recipe!)

2/3 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
1/2 stick butter (not margarine folks…)

Chicken Hot Wings – Oven Roasted and Cooked to Perfection


Hamburger Recipes, Grind Your Own Beef at Home!

Tom Basics, Essential Homemade, Paleo Friendly, Recipe 0 Comments

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Grind Your Own Beef at Home for Amazing Hamburger Recipes!

With a simple food processor you too can have the best burgers known to man!  Grinding your own ‘burger meat transforms a household comfort food into a luxury item.  Start with a fresh piece of organic grass-fed beef and you should claim the “Grill Master” title from your buddies.

By doing the grinding yourself, you retain complete control of what goes into your burger.  I think we all have realized that there are truly unspeakable things integrated into those tubular packages of “hamburger food” sold in the freezer section.  When we go to eat some meat, it might as well be some quality stuff!

Where do you get your favorite high-quality meat?  I am still working my way through the different butcher shops in Chicago and would love to hear some suggestions.

Currently I am a high-rise apartment dweller, so I have to improvise my grilling for the indoors.  I will be working through a few ways to utilize your beautiful hamburger in subsequent posts coming soon!

Hamburger Recipes – How to Grind Beef with Food Processor


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Perfect Roasted Chicken Recipe – Impress the Ladies!

Tom Dinner, Easy Impress, Essential Homemade, Paleo Friendly, Recipe 5 Comments

Perfect Roasted Chicken - Paleo Recipes

Perfect Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe

The easiest way to get the perfect girl to fall in love with you, serve her a perfectly roasted beautiful bird.  The mythical aphrodisiac effects of the golden crispy skin and luscious meat will unfold before your very eyes.  Or at least she will give a hearty compliment on your valiant attempt and big hug.  But hey, I’ve heard success stories…

Recipe Inspiration – The Perfectly Roasted Chicken, Mindy Fox

This method really benefits from starting with a high quality chicken.  I have had the best luck with air-chilled birds.  As much as I like to eat organic, I have found that the Whole Foods chicken that is one step below (around $8 per bird) are pretty comparable.  Learn to cook a chicken with this technique and you will never be tortured with dry white meat again.  Rarely a week goes by in which I don’t roast a bird for at least one meal. If I am feeling fancy, rich or just want to impress some special lady, I will splurge on the most expensive organic bird I can get my hands on.  I still remember this $22 bird I got from a small butcher shop (The Local Pig) in Kansas City, roasted it, and MIND BLOWN.  I learned the power of happy, healthy chicken on that fateful evening.  Wow.

chicken in oven recipes ideas for dinner

Roasted Chicken Recipe


Mason Jars, Hippie eating, Eat with Tom, Best bean recipe

Pressure Cooker Recipe – How to Cook Dry Beans w/ Timetable

Tom Dinner, Essential Homemade, Recipe, Vegetables 1 Comment

Mason Jars, Hippie eating, Eat with Tom, Best bean recipe

How to Cook Dry Beans – Pressure Cooker Recipe

Do people actually cook with those dried beans or does everyone just layer them into Mason Jars to gain hipster points?  The traditional way of preparing beans, with the overnight soak, hours of cooking, and on and on is just too much for me.  Fine I’ll just eat the canned stuff if that is the only option.

Then I was introduced to one of my favorite new tools in the kitchen, the pressure cooker!  My dad bought me this one (Fagor Duo 8-Quart ) on Amazon and had it sent to my apartment.  I thought “Cool Dad, maybe I’ll use this once or twice…”  Little did I know how awesome this tool would be for producing a few key foods that can take your dishes to the next level.

With dried beans, a whole new world of fresh and clean food opens up that cannot be obtained from a can.  On top of the variety of dried beans available, you can even save some cash over purchasing organic canned beans.  If you can do a few extra steps and save a little, that might just allow you to splurge on a few other healthy eating items or better wine!  At least this is how I validate it to myself.

Recipe Inspiration – Bean cooking time table from

Pressure Cooking time table, Cook Organic Beans at Home

I challenge you to bring home some new varieties of beans and try them out!  I found a very useful table from to assist you in your quest to prepare the perfect bean.  The recipe I have detailed here is an “Unsoaked, Quick Release” application.  Supposedly a pre-soak cleanses some of the “gas” producing enzymes from the beans, but I kind of think this is an old wives tale.  For me, organic beans prepared this way are fantastic, and do not cause any additional fragrant side effects.

Be sure to leave out the salt!  This will make your beans moooshy and kill the texture.  Another big win over the commercially canned version.

Preparing beans fresh each time you want to toss together a chili can be a hassle, but luckily they freeze up pretty well.  I am big fan of storing them in quart sized ziplock freezer bags and stacking them flat in the freezer.  There are also methods to can your own beans in Mason Jars, but I have not worked out the best practices yet.

Let’s cook!

How to Cook Dry Beans – Pressure Cooker Recipe